Election night 2012 by the social media numbers

Election social media stats facebook twitterPresident Barack Obama may have won a right to the White House for another four years, but it was the Web that made this election historic. For the first time ever, social media served as a critical tool both campaigns. And Obama even took to social news website Reddit for a second time, late on election day, in a last ditch effort to get Reddit users out to the polls. Below, we’ve collected the stats and figures that show why social media will remain a key political tool in the election years to come.


facebook stats for obama romney election night

Obama dominated Facebook’s social media charts throughout election day, according to the CNN-Facebook Election Insights tool, which tracked the Facebook buzz around the presidential candidates. Light blue in the chart above represents President Obama, while the bright red line under that represents Facebook mentions of Mitt Romney. Facebook disclosed that mentions of “Obama” in the six hours between 3 p.m. EST and 9 p.m. EST were 43 percent higher than mentions of “Romney.”

obama four more years facebook post

After being projected to win a second term in the White House, Obama’s social media team published a celebratory post of an image with President Obama and the First Lady in embrace. That post generated over 1.1 million “Likes,” and over 160,000 shares, in a span of less than one hour.

Facebook made additional social metrics available leading up to the re-election confirmation, which it collected between the hours of 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST on November 6. Here, we have the terms that dominated Facebook on election day.

Election Day overall Facebook mention count in the United States

[November 7, 1:00 a.m. EST]

  1. Obama
  2. Vote / Voted
  3. Romney
  4. Election
  5. President
  6. Country
  7. Win / Wins
  8. Line
  9. Four More Years / 4 More Years
  10. Ohio
  11. Election Day
  12. Results
  13. Polls
  14. Ballots
  15. Proud
  16. Close
  17. Florida
  18. Electoral
  19. Lost
  20. Colorado

Most-shared terms on Facebook

[November 7, 1:00 a.m. EST]

  1. Obama
  2. 4 more years / 4 years
  3. President / President Obama
  4. Thank God
  5. Won / Wins
  6. America
  7. Country / My Country / This Country
  8. Yes
  9. Ohio
  10. Florida
  11. My President
  12. Elected
  13. Congrats / Congratulations
  14. Reelected
  15. Did it / They did it / We did it
  16. Another 4
  17. Colorado
  18. Our president
  19. Warren / Elizabeth Warren
  20. Akin

[November 6, 11:30 p.m. EST]

  1. Obama Wins
  2. Romney
  3. President
  4. Four More Years
  5. Come On

[November 6, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. EST]

  1. Vote / Voted / Votes
  2. Obama
  3. Romney
  4. Win / Wins / Winning / Win the election
  5. Results / Election Results
  6. Close
  7. Electoral / Electoral Map / Electoral Votes
  8. Won
  9. If Romney Wins
  10. CNN
  11. Coverage / Election Coverage
  12. Map
  13. Election Night
  14. 2012 Election
  15. Senate
  16. Nervous
  17. If Obama Wins
  18. Virginia
  19. Polls Close
  20. Indiana

Facebook mention spikes 

[November 6, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. EST]

  1. Ohio – up 2175 percent
  2. Virginia – up 1870 percent
  3. Electoral – up 662 percent
  4. Nervous – up 581 percent
  5. North Carolina – up 684 percent
  6. Pennsylvania – up 674 percent
  7. Florida – up 537 percent
  8. Close – up 268 percent
  9. Romney – up 223 percent
  10. Obama – up 190 percent


Election 2012 made Twitter history last night, as well, becoming the most-tweeted event of any U.S. political contest. The social network saw over 20 million election-related tweets at 10:01 p.m. EST on November 6. That number climbed to 31.7 million total tweets by the night’s end, according to Twitter, smashing the previous record of 10 million tweets during the last presidential election.

Tweets peeked to 66,019 tweets per minute (TPM) before 11 p.m. EST. But following the announcement of President Obama’s reelection by the networks and cable news stations, the number of tweets sky rocketed to 327,452 tweets per minute at 11:19 p.m. EST. President Obama’s social media team may have helped boost those numbers with a tweet of the President hugging Michelle Obama, and the words “Four more years.” That tweet  broke Twitter’s record in less than one hour as the most retweeted post of all-time, with over 350,000 retweets, and over 122,000 favorites, by election day’s end. By 7 a.m. EST, the post has been retweeted 585,000 times.

barack obama four more years tweet

Other notable stats from the night include:

  • 85,273 TPM -11:12pm ET – IA presidential race called
  • 69,031 TPM – 9:33pm ET – PA and WI presidential races called
  • 65,106 TPM – 8:03pm ET – Polls close in various states; AP calls races for IL, CT, ME, DC, DE, RI, MD, MA


Voters were encouraged to document their voting process on Instagram, and Instagram users have been whole heartedly embracing the platform for showing their support for the presidential candidates. Some have been taking pictures of their patriotic accessories, while many others have even taken photos of their ballots in the voting booth. Unbeknownst to these users, some states have outlawed recording inside polling locations.

During the election day, Instagram shared more than 680,000 photos labeled with the term “vote.” Photos tagged with the words “election” or its variations saw 250,000 photos. Instagram photos tagged with the #obama hashtag clock in at 1.27 million, while users posted the #romney hashtag just 260,700 times.

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